Back in September 2012, squatting in a residential building in England and Wales became a criminal offence, and anyone caught squatting can face a maximum penalty of £5,000 fine, six months in jail, or both. This change in legislation has actually increased the risk of squatters taking up residence in commercial property.
As an owner of a commercial property, the last thing you want to think about is squatter eviction and all the red tape associated with it. If you are unfortunate enough to have squatters taking over your property, you can make a complaint to the police, but they have to be completely satisfied that you are making a genuine claim before they will take any action. All in all, the process can take longer than you would desire, and in the meantime you have no control over the amount of potential damage being done to your property while the squatters are in residence.
Squatters can no longer claim ‘squatters rights’ on residential properties under the new law, but when faced with real live squatters in your property, would you feel capable enough to evict them on your own?
Speed is of the essence when dealing with this problem if you want to reduce the risks of damage and associated costs. Luckily, Secure Site UK has years of valuable experience with dealing with squatter eviction, and a 100% success record with regaining and returning possession of buildings to their rightful owners usually within just four weeks.
Once you have your property returned to you, we can also advise and assist with the clean-up and after care of your building. No one likes to think about what can be left behind after squatters have been evicted, but you can feel secure in the knowledge that we are skilled in the removal of such undesirable substances such as human waste and needles. We can then further assist you with security measures to prevent future break-ins and unlawful occupancy of your property.
There are simple measures that you can take to keep squatters out, such as securely locking up the property. Replacing the locks with new high-security deadlock systems can go a long way to deter anyone trying to force entry. Any squatter physically breaking in will leave visible signs of forced entry which is a criminal offence, and will put your claim in a stronger position with the police.
When dealing with an empty commercial building, try to make it as difficult as possible for anyone to gain entry by fitting good quality steel security doors and windows.
Secure Site UK can also make regular security inspections of the vacant property, which again minimises the risk of squatter invasion.
For more information about our squatter eviction and vacant property security services please call us on 0800 177 7027.